Paola Aguirre is the founder of Borderless, urban design and research practice based in Chicago. Paola has been trained as an architect and urban designer, and her professional experience includes working with government, universities and architecture/urban design offices both in Mexico and the United States.
She is also founder of Borderless Workshop, a research and collaborative platform focused on rethinking cities among the US-Mexico border region. On that front, she is the creator-producer of Mapeo Workshops that work with multiple universities and students from different programs to research, critically discuss and creatively think about urban challenges using mapping as a main tool. Mapeo works with students, instructors, community members, and guest experts to create conversations, exchange knowledge and ideas through an intense boot-camp format.
Paola actively participates with academic institutions, and has been guest reviewer to design studios in University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Illinois Institute of Technology, Archeworks (Chicago), University of Texas (Austin), Arizona State University (Tempe), University of Tennessee (Knoxville), and Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (Querétaro, Monterrey and Chihuahua). Paola currently teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and Archeworks. She also enjoys documenting and writing about urban research, explorations and experiences, and has contributed with pieces to Next City, Scapegoat Journal, MAS Context, and Arquine.
Dennis Milam is a Principal with Borderless. Dennis’s 15 plus years of professional experience includes working closely with private clients, developers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and architecture and engineering offices in the United States, Austria, Middle East and Asia on projects of various scales—from private residences to large scale mixed-use projects from conception to completion. Dennis is a member of the American Institute of Architect, Construction Specification Institute and the National Fire Protection Association.
DESIGNERS IN RESIDENCE
Gordon Johnson is a recent graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing. Gordon currently works as an art educator, designer, and public artist in and around Chicago.
Ruth Levy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Spring of 2021. She is passionate about design and social practice
PAST DESIGN TEAM MEMBERS
Karli Honroth graduated from SAIC in December of 2020 and is passionate about community and equity centered design.
Lidia Madrid is an Architecture student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago expecting their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spring 2021.
Mauricio Casian holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2018). He is interested in sustainability and design as tools to improve the future of Architecture.
Valerie Wong is an Architecture student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago expecting her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spring 2019. She is always curious about the multi-faceted nature of the urban realm, and is exploring a tentative future in urban design and architecture theory.
Lily Hernandez is an Architecture student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago expecting her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spring 2020.
Seetharam Vallabhabeni holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2018), and has been trained in a variety of disciplines ranging from Architecture to humanistic psychology. He is interested in enabling optimistic experiences that disrupt the boundaries of architecture, design, craft, and science, and is lead designer and founder of Seem:less design studio.
Jessica Moon holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2018). She is interested in all dimensions of architectural research and working collaboratively with others as she continues to pursue user experience (UX) design.